The Colombian novelist Gabriel García Márquez has passed away, reports Jonathan Kandell in the New York Times. The Nobel Prize winner and author of One Hundred Years of Solitude (1967) as well as fifteen other novels was perhaps one of the most visible masters of a genre known as magical realism, which merged the poetically supernatural with elements of the mundane. García Márquez began as a journalist, then fled Colombia after writing a report in 1955 that infuriated dictator Gustavo Rojas Pinilla. Only after moving to Mexico City did he begin One Hundred Years of Solitude, which, once published, sold out within days of appearing in bookstores. He went on to write Chronicle of a Death Foretold (1981) and Love in the Time of Cholera (1985), and supported left-wing causes along his rise to fame.
In accepting his Nobel, he said, “Poets and beggars, musicians and prophets, warriors and scoundrels, all creatures of that unbridled reality, we have had to ask but little of imagination. For our crucial problem has been a lack of conventional means to render our lives believable.”